Read John 1 - 3
In Today's Reading:
Deity of Christ; John the Baptist; the Lamb of God; Jesus' first miracle in Cana; cleansing of the Temple; Nicodemus
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night (John 3:1-2). This prominent rabbi probably wanted an uninterrupted conversation with Jesus, so he chose to see Him at night. He was a member of the Sanhedrin, the council which controlled the religious life of Israel, yet he confessed to Jesus: Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God (3:2).
Jesus said to Nicodemus: Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh (human parents) is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (sons of God v. 1:12) (3:5-6). You must be born again (of God) (3:7; 1:13; also I Peter 1:23).
To illustrate how essential it is to be born again (receive eternal life), Jesus reminded him of when the Israelites, near the end of their 40 years of wilderness wandering, once again complained about their circumstances. So, the Lord sent fiery serpents among them and many of the people died However, when the people cried out to God, He commanded Moses to make a serpent of brass and lift it up on a pole. The people could only be healed by turning their eyes and looking up at the brazen serpent (Numbers 21:5-9). Jesus then said to Nicodemus: As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up: That whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:14-15). He that believes in Him is not condemned (judged): but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the Name of the Only Begotten Son of God (3:18). The serpent was made of brass since brass is a biblical symbol of judgment.
The one who is born again of the Holy Spirit now loves the things he once ignored, and he hates the things he once desired. When we were born the first time, we received the sinful nature which was inherited from Adam. When we are born again into the family of God, we receive His divine nature. Therefore: Walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) proving what is acceptable to the Lord (Ephesians 5:8-10).
1:5 the darkness comprehended it not = the unbelieving world loves sin and consequently cannot see their need for Christ; 1:39 tenth hour = 4 p.m., two hours before evening.
For John 1:23: See Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1. John 2:17: See Psalm 69:9.
Pray for The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by a family that loves Jesus · The Arabic International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored Mary Hoffmeyer · BP Staff: Dr. John A. Hash · Government Officials: Rep. Darrell Issa (CA) and Rep. John Spratt (SC) · Country: Zambia (10 million) in south-central Africa · Major languages: English and 70 indigenous languages · Religious freedom · 30% Roman Catholic; 25% Protestant; 24% ancestor worship, magic, and witchcraft; 19% cults · Prayer Suggestion: When you are in desperate circumstances, turn to the Lord with fasting and prayer (II Chronicles 20:2-4).
Memory Verse for the Week: I Corinthians 6:10